Sanderstead– 116-9 (Sunderland 4-15, A.Pickering 4-30)
Headley– 118-4 (M.Pickering 31*)
By 5 wickets
Following an hour long delay for drizzle, Headley and Sanderstead agreed to a shortened 30 over match and Headley, who at the time were fielding just 9 men, stuck Sanderstead in with the logic that they might as well take their medicine early and then chase whatever Sanderstead could post. Initially this looked to be a fairly rubbish idea as Sanderstead rattled up to 50 without much alarm. However, with Headley’s tenth man Josh Pickering joining at around 3:00, and the accurate Alan Clarke making a crucial breakthrough at 50-1, some slow fireworks were about set off by Headley’s two slow-left-arm bowlers, Andrew Pickering and Neil Sunderland. The pair simply ran through the rest of the Sanderstead line up, the visitors going from 60-1 off 12 overs, to 116-9 off their allotted 30 overs. Pickering (4-25) proved more out of the Michael Yardy school, with accuracy and changes of pace, whilst Sunderland (4-20) floated the ball up on a good line and was the perfect ally to a slow pitch. After Sunderland had been denied a deserved 5-for by a Patel / Pickering mix up, Pickering finished the innings off clinically at 116-9 with two wickets in two balls. This was a superb effort from Headley whose fielding ranks were often depleted still further by a constant stream of fielders going off for plasters whenever they fielded the ball!
Tea was a strong affair with a great lemon drizzle cake complementing a wide array of sandwiches and a classic Jim Pickering brew. Following this excitement, Headley’s opening pair Lee Dickinson and Josh Pickering went out to discover that Sanderstead had a pair of quite sharp opening bowlers who made early progress difficult. Dickinson soon fell to the accurate Horner, and Pickering, whose batting had looked brighter and breezier than he did himself, went soon after to leave Headley 30-2. The innings was settled by some crunching strokes from Barney Hesketh, who looked in great touch, and with the ever-resourceful Anjai Patel in support he raised the score up to 60 at the halfway mark. However, Sanderstead bowled and fielded tightly throughout and at the 20 over mark it was still far from over, with the quick wickets of Hesketh and Patel giving Sanderstead a sniff. It took a fine cameo from Mitch Pickering (31*), who blitzed his usual array of slog sweeps and stand and deliver drives to eventually see the innings home after 27 overs.
This was a great effort from Headley against a young Sanderstead side made up mostly of league players who fought hard and gave a fielding masterclass. Headley would not have chased much more and won this game in the field, with matchwinning performances from Pickering Sr and Sunderland.